James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.Mark 2:13-3:35
CALL OF LEVI, TEACHING CROWDS
The events are:
The Call of Levi (Mark 2:13-20) · Parables of the Cloth and the Bottles (2:21-22) · In the Cornfields on the Sabbath (2:23-28) · Healing the Withered Hand (Mark 3:1-5) · Healing the Multitudes (3:6-12) · Choosing the TwelveMark (Mark 3:13-21) · The Unpardonable Sin (Mark 3:22-30) · New Relationship (Mark 3:31-35) We will not in every case name the parallel passage in Matthew, which can be learned by the marginal references in one’s Bible. It is assumed that every reader or student has a Bible of this character which he consults. We will look for the comment desired under our treatment of Matthew in that place, while in Mark we will limit ourselves to what is peculiar to that writer.
The Levi of Mark 2:13 is identical with Matthew. He took toll, or collected the taxes for the Roman government, which made him an object of hatred to his own people and one who was despised as an apostate. Mark mentions the fact omitted by Matthew, that the feast of Mark 2:15 was in Levi’s house.
In the incident of the withered hand also, there is an addition not found elsewhere, indicating that Mark was a close observer of his Master’s actions and interpreter of His feelings (Mark 3:5).
The choosing of the twelve (Mark 3:13-21) has quite a different context in Mark from Matthew. Christ is on the mountain, but the Sermon on the Mount is not given. Notice, too, that the surnames of James and John are found here only (Mark 3:17). And do not pass over Mark 2:21, which is peculiar to Mark. “Friends” there means “kinsmen.”
A very important addition is that under the head of the unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29). “Danger of eternal damnation” is rendered in the Revised Version “guilty of an eternal sin,” which teaches us the awful nature of ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan, and also the certainty of eternal punishment. If there is such a thing as eternal sin, there must be eternal punishment to accompany it.
1. What are the leading incidents of this lesson?
2. Who was Levi?
3. What is characteristic of Mark as a reporter?
4. Name the things peculiar to Mark’s record.
5. What two great doctrinal truths are here emphasized?